The Visitor Motivation, Expenditure and Satisfaction (VMES) Survey is jointly conducted by the Statistics Division and the Ministry of Tourism and Investment. Surveys of this type aim to investigate the preferences of visitors coming to Antigua & Barbuda, focusing on visitors’ expectations and satisfaction regarding components of the range of products, services, activities, sites and infrastructure offered that contribute to their overall experience.
Additionally, the survey provides vital information based on demographic and behavioral characteristics, such as age, income, and season of travel. This will provide an even clearer image of visitor expectation and this feedback will assist in the making of sound marketing decisions, as well as developing the best possible tourism product.
Visitor satisfaction is paramount to the success of tourism enterprises, and tourism within a wider spectrum. From a marketing perspective, it is preferred that visitors’ actual experiences exceed their expectations, in order to increase the rate of repeat visits, and extend the time spent on each trip. From a broader management perspective, visitor satisfaction is also a key performance indicator of the tourism industry. Measuring visitor satisfaction with a survey tool is therefore an important part of business planning and management at individual and collective operator levels if visitor arrivals are to be retained and increased.
Visitor expenditure patterns are also of great importance, not only from a marketing standpoint, but from a fiscal one as well. This information is used to estimate the economic contribution of the tourism industry on an annual basis.
The survey is conducted every month of the year for a week at the V.C. Bird International Airport, using a self-administered questionnaire. One questionnaire per travel party is provided, and the enumerator ensures that only visitors (persons staying in-country for 1 night or more), not in- transit passengers or excursionists, complete the forms.